I was reading, just dozing off to sleep and my phone rang. It was just after midnight and it was an unknown caller. My first instinct with unknown callers is to let it go to voicemail – but for some reason – I picked up. I’ll blame my own tiredness. Keep in mind, in that state, I typically have very little (if any) filter. I said “Hello?” and heard a pause… as if the person on the other end was in debate about what to do next. And then I heard a voice I haven’t heard in a long while. Australia. There was a little brief bit of chit chat, and then it came. “Jen, there’s something I need to tell you, and I don’t know how you’re going to react.” To be honest, I thought he was going to say he’d met someone and he was happy … or something along that lines. And my honest reaction would have been happiness for him. But no. He was letting me know that he “couldn’t hold it in any more… that he’s planned a trip to LA in January with his mum and wanted to tell me that he’d be in my backyard. And would I come fly down?”
I have a couple of reactions to that.
A. He’s been my best friend for 15 years. Of COURSE! And I love his mom.
B. Oh wait, but we’re not friends anymore, and that would be awkward as HELL! But I could finally return the ring I’ve been leery of sending via mail. Ouch – that’ll make for quite a “visit”. Not to mention, his mom would like nothing more than to string me up for almost destroying her son.
Of course, I could have the ring fed ex’d to their hotel. But that seems cruel. And rude, considering our history and friendship. The simple fact of the matter is, I feel bad. This man has been my friend, my best friend, since I was silly stupid teenager. We’ve seen and cheered for each other thru marriages, births, divorces, promotions, layoffs, you name it. We would still be rooting for each other, if I hadn’t screwed things up the way I did. I could have found a better way to let him down.
We all went to Hawaii, me and my 3 best friends. It was to be this epic and amazing trip, without kids. Do whatever we wanted. We each picked a day to plan out for the group. He wanted one day with just me. I should have seen it coming. I didn’t. We island hopped, so we could go see the volcano. The science nerd in me wanted to see it, and he knew that. He booked us a tour. His mom came too. 3/4 of the way through the tour, she handed me his ipad. told me to hit play. I did. It was a proposal. a 10 minute proposal on his iPad followed by him on one knee with a ring. (Just a side note to anyone out there who’s considering proposing – avoid doing any kind of proposal that isn’t face to face. The last thing I would have ever wanted was a proposal where technology was used to do the proposing.) I remember the feeling that came over me when it happened. I remember gulping for air. I remember wanting to run away in the opposite direction, away from the eyes of his family. It was fear and guilt and a whole mess of a lot of emotions that I didn’t want. None of them very good. His whole family was there to watch this “glorious moment in his life”. And here I was, feeling the way I felt. He left the next day and me and my other friends stayed another couple days then returned home. 2 months later, he showed up in Seattle; despite me asking him not to. He pushed his way, despite me practically begging him to just give me space and time. It ended in a disastrous fight. I remember dropping him off outside the airport, driving away feeling like a huge weight had been lifted. He was gone. I was sad to lose my friend, but I couldn’t take the extra weight at that point in my life. My divorce wasn’t even final yet. I tried to chalk it up to bad timing, but looking back, it wasn’t even that. It just wasn’t meant to be.
The thing is… I do miss his friendship. Sometimes. We would pick each other’s brains about anything and everything. It’s not often you come across someone who truly thinks like you do. We always had that.
It would be one thing if this was a friendly visit. And in most ways, it is. He was very cautious on the phone with me. Kept emphasizing that he wants a friendship. Put a lot of weight on that word. But I’m not blind. I read him well. He wants more than a friendship, but is scared shitless that I’m going to destroy him further. I have no intention of giving him either of those things. I’m happy with my life and have no intention of changing it. But I also don’t want to destroy someone that I do/did care about. Ugh.
So far, I’ve agreed to go. What the hell?! I blame my lack of filter. Or maybe it was an odd moment where I was embracing my filter – who knows. I don’t really want to go. It is likely to be awkward and weird. I know he hasn’t dated, hasn’t even attempted to date. Ugh. Maybe I can get T or the bestie to come down with me. Make it so that I’m not facing this one all alone? Does that make me a total chicken shit? I can’t ask any of them to do that with me tho – ERG! I guess I’ll just fly down there, say hi, give the ring back, avoid any punches from the Mum, get on a plane and return home? My god I AM a chicken shit.
And here’s the weird coincidence. Last week, I deleted all our correspondence. ALL of it. I wouldn’t do that for the ex. It wasn’t something I was willing to delete or give up on. I wanted to last week. I think I needed to prove to myself that I was serious about my choice, about the path I’m on and who I believe it leads to. I needed/wanted closure. 15 years of emailing someone multiple times every day really adds up. It took a while for my email to even process the deletion request. It felt really good to do. I truly have moved forward and am happy with where I am and who I’ve surrounded myself with. I ended the call, and hopped on facebook. I was wide awake, and it was then 1am. I was surprised to get a message from my old admin asking to meet for coffee. I joked that it was a bit early to be thinking coffee seeing as it was only 1am. He laughed and said fair enough and asked to meet me early tomorrow (today). Odd… but yea ok, sure.
Then just as I’m about to log off, another acquaintance friend messages me asking what my plans were for tomorrow (today) evening – and if I could meet her for coffee as she’s having a hard time right now and could really use a friend. That her and her fiancé aren’t doing well and that she could use some girl talk time. Sure why not? Guess tomorrow I’m going to get enough caffeine to last me the next month. 😀
Is it a full moon? My little one has been up three times tonight with nightmares. I NEVER have this much activity late at night. Ugh – it’s now 2am. I better lay down and try and get some sleep.